Golfers' Choice 2021: Top 25 Course Layouts

Which courses have the best design, routing and architecture? Our review community weighs in.

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Course Layout is one of six subcategories you can rate in a review on GolfPass and is the closest category tied to golf course architecture experience. Keep in mind that our review community comes from all handicaps, ages and genders, so a course layout means very different things to different types of players. There are some big names in golf course architecture on this list, as well as major championship hosts, but also some lesser-known and value courses. We've provided a quote that personifies the beauty of the experience. Click on each course to learn more about what your fellow golfers have to say about the layout.

The following 25 courses earned the highest averages in that category from our community for their course layout. Courses must be open to the public to be eligible for these lists.

Top 25 golf course layouts

  1. Erin, Wisc.
    What they're saying: "This course is majestic. it is my favorite non-links course I have ever played along with Bandon Trails." - hogan555

  2. Merry Hill, N.C.
    What they're saying: "Very beautiful views throughout course. Greens in great shape and they run true. Beautiful country, great course." - robertpeoples

  3. Indianapolis, Ind.
    What they're saying: "Played here for the last 20 years and it never disappoints. 5 stars!!" - JupiterIslandGolf

  4. Kinder, La.
    What they're saying: "Very challenging at 7,600 (yards) from the tips. Beautiful course. Serene, and peaceful. Amazing layout, and I would definitely play again." - amartin44

  5. Burkesville, Ky.
    What they're saying: "Get yourself to this course and I guarantee you will be back. We drive 150 miles whenever we can just to play it. It’s Augusta in Kentucky." - ernieboy

  6. Blythewood, S.C.
    What they're saying: "This is a absolute must for golfers. With spacious views, blind shots, island greens, and mind-bending shot choices, P.B Dye has his father's footprints all over these 27 challenging holes." - Benji929

  7. Laconia, Ind.
    What they're saying: "I absolutely loved the course.There is NONE better for the price." - jamrobin05

  8. Waterloo, Ill.
    What they're saying: "Annbriar never fails to satisfy. All around my favorite public course in the St. Louis area." - tomkrapu

  9. Beach Park, Ill.
    What they're saying: "You can never go wrong choosing to golf at this course. From start to finish it’s hands down the best golf course in Lake County. It’s extremely well taken care of, and provides a private club feel despite being a public course." - Anonymous

  10. Silvis, Ill.
    What they're saying: "This was one of the best courses I have played. In a time of turmoil it's nice to be able to enjoy the little things. Watching an actual deer on its namesake made me appreciate life." - Sasquatcho

  11. What they're saying: "Had a great caddy in David, and being first out, and alone, the round moved very quickly. It is much tighter than Shadow, and of course not as long, but the Fazio design is very well done." - woorace

  12. Green Lake, Wisc.
    What they're saying: "I played here for the first time and was blown away. Best course I have ever played. I already want to take the 6 hour drive one way just to play again." - Villikin

  13. Carmel, Calif.
    What they're saying: "Great design, lush and forgiving conditions, wide fairways, beautiful." - btm007

  14. Mountain Top, Pa.
    What they're saying: "This course is great..elevation changes, tee boxes with natural landscape in views, challenging, fast greens. It has everything. The timing of nice weather in early October presents fall foliage views that are difficult to match on a golf course." - mjm5421

  15. Peoria, Ariz.
    What they're saying: "It was as challenging as everyone said it would be, but what a great experience playing the course. I will definitely play Quintero again" - Scott0803

  16. Southwick, Mass.
    What they're saying: "Great staff, course is a unique layout that tests your creativity." - Crunched

  17. Kiawah Island, S.C.
    What they're saying: "Played the beautiful Ocean Course on a brilliant Monday morning. The golf course is extremely hard but fair. Good shots are rewarded and there is room for a little off-line shots as well. Greg our caddie was awesome and kept me out of trouble." - balderman

  18. Hartford, Wisc.
    What they're saying: "Played this course for the first time and was thrilled at the conditions and layout of the course." - jakerybakowicz

  19. Providence Forge, Va.
    What they're saying: "I can’t imagine there’s many better golf courses in the US. The scale of the course is incredible. Not a lazy hole or piece of terrain on the property. Challenging yet fair and playable. But really it’s just a work of art." - cpotter03

  20. Las Vegas, Nev.
    What they're saying: "The Snow Mountian course is a true gem. The course is located in the middle of the desert. It is truly a desert oasis. The tee boxes, fairways, and greens are well-manicured. The course is challenging, but the layout and beauty of the course lessen the sting of the challenge." - GolfClub1

  21. Shepherdsville, Ky.
    What they're saying: "My foursome really enjoyed the course. Some tough pins but overall an incredible experience. 2 players first time playing HH. Very complementary of the layout and quality!" - MichaelMarks

  22. Sylacauga, Ala.
    What they're saying: "Farm Links has been on my bucket list for a couple years and really enjoyed my round there. Everything was top notch and well worth the greens fees." - Paul1901947

  23. Aloha, Ore.
    What they're saying: "Fun to play and some greens are challenging with great quality. Even the white sand bunkers are in the best quality not like the dirt bunkers in other courses." - Shilunwang

  24. Lake Jackson, Texas
    What they're saying: "I was pleasantly surprised with the layout. Course was challenging from the back tees with long par 4’s and reachable par 5’s" - robbie78738

  25. Lebanon, Ind.
    What they're saying: "What a great design of a course. Challenging greens every hole. Not a vanilla course. Great fall views. Nice fairways and tee boxes. Highly recommend." - PuttWithaWedge

Golfer's Choice rankings are determined by our community of reviewers.
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Golfers' Choice 2021: Top 25 Course Layouts